At the age of 16, author Kaitlin Solimine had the opportunity to live in Beijing, China with a home-stay family. Her experiences during this time and over the next ten years as she continued to build her relationship with her host family planted the initial seed for a book. Solimine found the dynamics of an American girl being so welcomed by a Chinese family intriguing, considering all of the political turmoil between the two countries over the last century. She then applied for and received a Fulbright scholarship to do a research study in China that would supply much of the material for her book. After finishing this program, Solimine came back to the U.S. and enrolled in a creative writing program through UCLA Extension to continue honing her craft. This program helped her understand what it meant to be a committed writer, how to set goals, and how to structure her award-winning, critically acclaimed debut historical fiction novel Empire of Glass.
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